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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Bachelor of Arts

Degree Requirements


Degree Requirements

The major in political science, coupled with the CLAS general education requirements, leads to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. Students may choose from two tracks.

The Traditional Major

This option allows students ample opportunity to build a solid foundation while pursuing some of their own interests within the discipline.

The Public Policy Concentration

This option was designed for students who specifically desire to pursue careers in public policy and/or public administration in the public or nonprofit sectors. Grounded in basic political science theory and familiarity with American, comparative, and international politics, this BA track emphasizes the specifically political aspects of public policy processes and settings. Cases will emphasize key policy issues confronting U.S. local, state and national decision makers and citizens. A focus on politics and the policy-making process will prepare students conceptually and methodologically to move beyond partisan politics to address how leaders can best mobilize resources to achieve constituent goals consistent with the public interest.

Undergraduate students must declare their intention to major in political science by the time they have completed 60 semester hours, and must complete a minimum of 36 semester hours in political science, of which at least 21 must be upper division courses. Fifteen of the 36 hours must be taken from Downtown Campus faculty. To count for the major, all coursework must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better. Students choosing an individual internship (PSCI 3939) to fulfill their experiential learning requirement should go to the Career Center in Tivoli 260 before the start of the semester in which they plan their internship. For a listing organizations that have hosted political science interns, please see the Internship subsection under Student Resources.

Required courses, nine credit hours total

PSCI 1001, Introduction to Political Science:The Quest for Freedom & Justice 3
PSCI 1101, American Political System 3
PSCI 3011, Research Methods 3

One 4000-level course in each of three fields, nine credit hours total

  1. American politics
  2. Comparative politics
  3. International relations

Any two of the following political theory courses, six credit hours total

PSCI 4207, Theories of Social and Political Change 3
PSCI 4407, Early Political Thought 3
PSCI 4417, Modern Political Thought 3
PSCI 4427, Law, Politics, and Justice 3
PSCI 4437, Coercion and the State 3
PSCI 4457, American Political Thought 3

Experiential learning requirement: one of the following, three credit hours*

PSCI 3914, The Urban Citizen 3
PSCI 3939, Individual Internship 3
PSCI 4002, Internship in Ethnic and Gender Politics 3
PSCI 4217, Human Rights in Theory and Practice 3
PSCI 4934, CU at the Capitol 3
Experiential learning project in any PSCI class 3
Significant political life experience in the community 3

*Discuss hardship cases with advisor.

Elective courses, upper or lower division, minimum of nine credit hours

In addition to the required 36 credit hours in political science, any two of the following cognate courses, six hours

ECON 2012, Principles of Economics: Macroeconomics 3
ECON 2022, Principles of Economics: Microeconomics 3
HIST 1016, World History to 1500 3
HIST 1026, World History Since 1500 3
HIST 1211, Western Civilization I 3
HIST 1212, Western Civilization II 3
HIST 1361, U.S. History to 1876 3
HIST 1362, U.S. History Since 1876 3

Required courses, nine credit hours total

PSCI 1001, Introduction to Political Science: The Quest for Freedom & Justice 3
PSCI 1101, American Political System 3
PSCI 3011, Research Methods 3

One 4000-level course in each of the following three fields, nine credit hours total

American Politics
PSCI 4002, State Politics 3
PSCI 4014, Media and Politics 3
PSCI 4024, Legislatures and Legislation 3
PSCI 4025, Local Governance and Globalization 3
PSCI 4044, The Presidency 3
PSCI 4094, American Politics and Policy 3
PSCI 4114, Law, Policy and Conflict 3
PSCI 4124, Denver Politics 3
PSCI 4324, Politics, Public Policy and Leadership 3
PSCI 4354, Environmental Politics 3
PSCI 4374, Public Priorities for the 21st Century 3
PSCI 4477, Constitutional Law I 3
PSCI 4487, Constitutional Law II 3
PSCI 4545, Immigration Politics 3
Comparative Politics and International Relations
PSCI 4085, Comparative Public Policy 3
PSCI 4124, Introduction to International Political Economy 3
PSCI 4185, Corruption in the U.S. and Abroad 3
PSCI 4226, The UN in World Affairs 3
PSCI 4236, American Foreign Policy 3
PSCI 4266, International Law 3
PSCI 4326, IPE: Globalization 3
PSCI 4645, Comparative Political Leadership 3
Public Policy and Administration
PSCI 4007, Beyond Political Correctness 3
PSCI 4009, Politics of the Budgetary Process 3
PSCI 4024, State Politics: Focus on Colorado 3
PSCI 4084, Local Government and Administration 3
PSCI 4274, Conflict Resolution and Public Consent Building 3
PSCI 4414, Organizational Change Agents 3
PSCI 4644, Ethical Responsiblities of Leaders 3

Elective courses, nine credit hours total

Choose any two additional courses from the list above. And choose one other upper or lower division PSCI course.

Two political theory courses, six credit hours total

PSCI 4427, Law, Politics and Justice 3
PSCI 4437, Coercion and the State 3

One of the following experiential learning options, three credit hours

PSCI 3939, Individual Internship (public policy focus) 3
PSCI 4934, CU at the Capitol 3

The following two cognate courses, six credit hours

ECON 2012, Principles of Economics: Macroeconomics 3
ECON 2022, Principles of Economics: Microeconomics 3